Four points for Gionta in Habs’ fantasy win over Jets

at Staples Center on December 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Suffering from Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Thursday night’s game between the Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre.


WINNIPEG – The Canadiens enjoyed their most productive night of the season as they pulled away to a 5-0 lead midway through the game and went on to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 7-3 Thursday night at the MTS Centre.

“That’s the kind of game we’ve been looking for,” Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said. “We put the pressure on them and forced them to take penalties and we scored four goals on the power play. And we got two other goals by taking advantage of turnovers in the neutral zone.”

Rene Bourque opened the scoring at 1:36 of the first period and Alexei Emelin, Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec added power-play goals before the period was over.

Brian Gionta made it 5-0 before Dustin Byfuglien ended backup goaltender Peter Budaj’s shutout bid at 16:13 of the second period. P.K. Subban added another power-play goal at 18:49 of the second period. The Canadiens went 4-for-8 on the power play.

Eric Fehr and Evander Kane scored for Winnipeg early in the third period, while Scott Gomez gave Montreal the final margin of victory with a goal at 19:12. Kane’s goal came on the power play as Winnipeg went 1-for-5 with the extra man. 

“We had balanced scoring tonight,” said Canadiens captain Gionta, who had three assists to go with his fifth goal of the season. “Seven different guys scored goals and 13 guys picked up at least one assist. It was good to see Patch back in the lineup.”

The one disappointing note for the Canadiens was the loss of Louis Leblanc with what appeared to be a shoulder injury late in the second period. Leblanc, who had an ice bag on his shoulder as he waited for the team bus, said he didn’t think it was a serious injury and added it wasn’t the same shoulder that was surgically repaired in 2011.

The win gave Budaj two wins in as many starts.

“It’s not easy win when you don’t play a lot, but the guys gave me a big lead and they didn’t allow too many shots,” Budaj said.

That wasn’t the case for Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. He gave up five goals on 26 shots before being replaced by Al Montoya, who stopped 14 of the 16 shots he faced.

The Canadiens are in Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche Saturday and return home to play the Nashville Predators on Monday.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)



  1. Chris says:

    I don’t understand the claims that Donald Fehr has wound up the players or is responsible for the current impasse.

    The NHL is being completely and utterly unreasonable in this fiasco. I can live with the 50/50 revenue sharing, and I suspect the players knew they would have to from the outset.

    But it is the other just absolutely juvenile demands that have the backs of the players up and, if I’m being honest, mine would be too. In a hard salary cap world, why should the players give up a year of their free agency? I have yet to see one single reasonable argument to be made on this front. I’ve seen lots that are based in sentimentality (oh, there would be so much player movement!) but none based in the cold, hard realities of business.

    The NHL came out and blew their credibility when they tried clawing back all sorts of player contract rights in addition to the money issue. If the money is an issue, as the owners insist, then you talk player share of the revenues. But when you tie that conversation to granting control over the players’ lives by owners, then you’ve got the current impasse.

    I’ve long stated that in the presence of guaranteed contracts and a hard salary cap, there is absolutely no need whatsoever to restrict player movement, because there is a finite pot of money that can only be split so many ways. I’m all for abolishing the draft and granting unrestricted free agency after **EVERY** contract, regardless of the age of the player, because it is completely unnecessary and, ultimately, morally unfair.

    I work contracts for a living, as do many younger people. This is the new norm. I would completely lose my mind if my current employer, unwilling to commit to me for anything more than a 1-2 year contract, also insisted on limiting my freedom to move and seek a better arrangement. I’m sorry, but employers lose the ability to influence MY life the second they stop paying me. That is the way the world works, and athletes should be no different.

    The soccer world did not spontaneously explode with the Bosman ruling in 1995 that granted all soccer players complete autonomy at the end of their contracts. Any problems in European soccer in terms of competitiveness of lesser teams with the powerhouse franchises like Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid could be cured by the presence of a hard salary cap across the board, just like the one that already exists in the NHL.

    The NHL went nuclear by demanding the 50/50 revenue sharing and then saying that they will also not negotiate on raising the age of unrestricted free agency or having European draftees rights owned by their drafting team for FOUR seasons, regardless of whether that player wants to play for that team or not.

    I think the players deserve more than 50% of the pie, but I can see the argument there. But this other stuff is just absolute BS.

    • Cal says:

      Fehr hasn’t negotiated from the moment he accepted the job as head of the PA. He still hasn’t. Instead, he tries to tell the league and the business owners how to operate their franchises. Isn’t it fair for the players to have no financial risk while taking the lion’s share of the revenues? In a risk-free word: no.
      The draft system is what it is. Until some agent takes the league to court it will continue as it is.
      Young players “cashing in” after two seasons’ service is the problem. It’s where the next set of albatross contracts will come from.
      I am for eliminating guaranteed contracts altogether. Lack of performance after the big “pay day” is the biggest contractual problem in the league.

      • Chris says:

        The young players cashing in after two seasons’ service is not a problem. The owners offered those contracts.

        Each team has a $60 million pie to spread out however they see fit. If some young star can convince his team he is worth 10-15% of that pie, all the more power to him. If a different owner wants to use his pie solely on proven veterans, that is his prerogative as well.

        Teams have a lot of different levers they can use to convince players to sign on with them. Some teams offer ludicrously long contracts and guaranteed money, others tend to offer shorter term contracts for larger amounts of money. That is the way the market should work.

        Lack of performance after the big “pay day” is a contractual problem, but there is already a mechanism built into the system: don’t offer long-term contracts. There is absolutely no obligation on the part of the teams to offer anything more than one- or two-year contracts. If this was really the biggest contractual problem in the league, then you would see fewer teams offering those types of contracts, not more.

        The biggest contractual problem was that the salary cap had climbed to a point where about 2/3 of the teams could not spend to the cap. A reduction to 50% of league revenues going to the players, down from 57%, should bring the salary cap down to a more reasonable level. If there are still teams that are struggling, then that should be on the owners of to help prop them up as it is the league and its owners that are ultimately banking on growth in these struggling markets to help raise their own revenues.

        To say that Fehr has not negotiated is incorrect. The players have indicated that they will accept a 50/50 split, and the negotiations center around how quickly this will occur. Given that they are starting from a point where they get 57/43 split that is already a pretty massive concession.

        To say that the players bear no financial risk is also incorrect: if league revenues fall, then the players’ share of those revenues necessarily fall in lockstep. The cap goes down, the contracts that can be offered necessarily go down. This is indisputable. So as a collective group, the players **DO** already bear some risk: they risk the size of their contracts and, in the case of franchises going under, they risk jobs.

        So much of this dispute centers around the owners asking the players to negotiate to their own detriment so that the owners can protect themselves from the other owners. For me, this is absolutely ludicrous. If you can’t afford to offer a contract, don’t offer it.

        • commandant says:

          Very good, well thought out posts Chris.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

        • bwoar says:

          Chris, you may not agree, but you surely must understand “claims that Donald Fehr has wound up the players or is responsible for the current impasse.” You are still focused on the NHL’s initial offer, and ignoring the PA’s efforts to undermine negotiations.

          Let me preface my comments by saying that I’ve also been a contractor & entrepreneur most of my professional life. Si I’m not insensitive to contract rights & negotiations whatsoever.

          As you acknowledge, 50/50 was going to happen. And no one really could think otherwise.

          You ask first: “In a hard salary cap world, why should the players give up a year of their free agency?”

          The *why* is obvious: one extra year to keep players out of the ultra-competititve FA market. This is the theme here: the owners NEED, and I mean NEED, as many rules to protect themselves from themselves as they can bring in. It goes beyond peons like ‘they just need to show a bit of restraint’, since the kind of restraint they’d need would essentially be collusion. So that’s the major theme with these contracting concessions.

          I strongly disagree that this hurts their credibility. They are acknowledging everything we all already know, and doing something about what’s REALLY broken in the game: Those who can pay will do so, even foolishly, and salary cap be damned.

          You stated that “I would completely lose my mind if my current employer, unwilling to commit to me for anything more than a 1-2 year contract, also insisted on limiting my freedom to move and seek a better arrangement”.

          But that isn’t happening here. There is no lack of willingness to commit. It really is just the number required to get that committment.

          And most importantly: Players are completely free to seek better arrangments. There is no law that says they must choose the NHL. It is you who are limiting the playing field by assuming that there’s the NHL or nothing. But players are free to play hockey worldwide, under whatever best deal they want. Just like any contractor. Me, you, anyone. If I want a contract at a certain firm, you bet I’ll have to meet certain requirements having nothing to do with renumeration: NDA, non-compete (never accept without massive severence), dress code, drug test, security check, etc. etc. Those are the terms, kids, and that’s how you play the game.

          Frankly I wish the holdout faction of players would agree to disagree, and those who have a problem with their NHL employment terms would bloody well find some other league’s fanbase to get rich off of. You say “I think the players deserve more than 50% of the pie”, well, they can go look for those jobs if they exist.

          When you say, “If you can’t afford to offer a contract, don’t offer it”, you are wilfully ignoring the reality of NHL competition. I’d love to hear the fan reaction in Montreal when PK walks away from a 16M / 4 year deal to sign with the B’s or the Leafs at 20M / 4 years. Geoff Molson takes the heat for his GM and says, “We couldn’t afford that contract. So we didn’t re-sign him. That’s buiness.”

          With each of those contracting issues, ask yourself: Should a year get cancelled over this? Would I give up working for a year, with what I have now, over this?

          • Trisomy 21 says:

            I mostly agree with Chris, but you do have strong arguments as well. However…
            “And most importantly: Players are completely free to seek better arrangments. There is no law that says they must choose the NHL.”

            That’s not being completely free by any means. Being free to seek better arrangements is moving to a different city, not being forced to take less pay to work in a a inferior league or move to a different continent.

        • Cal says:

          I maintain that Fehr hasn’t negotiated. Since he was hired. The players wanted a bulldog and they have one. What will they do when this season and the next are gone? Take regular jobs?

          Philly’s attempted poaching of Weber isn’t a case of affording to offer a contract. It’s a player agent screwing over his player’s team by getting his client to sign the offer sheet.

    • Phil C says:

      I agree Chris, the NHL is being the most unreasonable in this lockout. They are trying to tip the table in their favour on EVERY single issue. It makes me wonder if this lockout has been planned from the beginning and everything that has transpired so far is exactly as Bettman had planned. Consider the following:

      – The attempts to re-negotiate the deal started very late considering all the changes demanded. I put this on the NHL because they are the ones that want changes to the deal. Why would they wait so long unless a lockout was a part of the strategy?
      – After the Oct 16 offer to “save an 82 game season”, they walked out after 15 minutes of considering three counter offers. This seems like it was pre-planned as they obviously had no intention of negotiating that day and they must have known that a “take it or leave it” strategy would not work with Fehr.
      – As I mentioned above, even the latest offer tips the table in the owner’s direction on every single issue. Bettman knew who he was dealing with in Fehr, he must have known that the NHLPA leader cannot cave on EVERY issue. Even Crosby observed that the urgency to negotiate was there on the player’s side, but not on the owners. This would make sense if it was premeditated to drag out the lockout.

      – Because of escrow payments, the players have yet to feel it financially, but they will start feeling it this month. Maybe this is what Bettman is waiting for and we will finally see what he really wants.

      – The script Bettman is following is very similar to what transpired in the NBA (Bettman and Stern are from the same law firm). The NBA finally got a deal done at the end of November. Bettman just suggested suspending talks until the end of Nov. Coincidence?

      – The NBA just announced an increase in revenue to $5B, up from $4B. The lockout did not hurt the NBA, so I am sure the NHL is not worried bout losing 1/4 of a season to get what it wants.

  2. twilighthours says:

    I should really let this go, but…

    It still amazes me that Aaron Rome got four games for his hit on Horton while chara got nothing for pacioretty

    • Cal says:

      Ain’t nothing like holding a grudge, eh? I am with you on this one, though.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      You’re understating it:
      Rome got the longest suspension *ever* in a Stanley Cup Final while Chara got nothing in a regular season incident that could have impaired Pacioretty for life.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I was just thinking this morning of the contrast between the reactions of Jack Edwards.. The tone of his voice when Pacioretty was hurt was the way you’d react to seeing someone accidently drop a carton of eggs in the grocery store. When Horton got leveled it sounded like he’d witnessed a pedestrian getting hit by a semi.

  3. frontenac1 says:

    Ah decisions,decisions. Rothlesberger out… Take the Ravens minus the points?
    Recchi is a dork! Go Als Go!

  4. HabFanSince72 says:

    I don’t follow baseball – but it looks like Jeffrey Loria did to Miami (is he in Miami?) what he did to the Expos – except he never got a cent out of us.

    “3. Jeffrey Loria. You probably heard a lot this week about the Marlins owner–who unloaded his entire team this week to Toronto after making a token effort to look like a major market franchise for half a season in order to drum up public financing for a new stadium. He now joins the likes of Dan Snyder, Donald Sterling, and James Dolan among the most evil exemplars of pro sports owners. We could build a statue of them! We could make it out of petrified cow shit and erect it outside the front of the Marlins’ stadium. Passersby could throw eggs and large rocks at it. At least it would draw fans.”

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Chris says:

      Absolutely. Jeffrey Loria and David Samson are blights on humanity.

      Hard to feel too much sympathy for professional sports teams owners when you see the crap that they pull behind the scenes to ensure that they come out on top.

      • neumann103 says:

        But they NEED, I mean NEED to take hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build facilities for which they own the revenues.

        Don’t you see, the owners take all the risks.

        “Et le but!”

  5. bwoar says:

    While Cal summarizes things perfectly with this:
    “It’s Bettman’s way of telling Fehr to stop moving the goalposts”, I’m inclined to take a positive view of this development.

    I’m encouraged by the idea of two weeks without more failed negotiations. The players aren’t interested in seriously joining the NHL at the table yet, so there’s no reason for them to negotiate against themselves.

    Don Fehr jacked up his constituency so well and wound them up so tight, that he initially got absolute mandate to kill as many games as he wants. This holds still, by virtue of the gang-anger that’s so easy to elicit against the rat-faced commissioner. Every now and again some meathead like Krys Barch or a spoiled kid like Crosby comes out and peddles some aggressive stupidity or other, but that’s just the anger spilling over the edges. It wouldn’t shock me if there’s a Two Minutes’ Hate during NHLPA meetups with Big Bettman on multiple HD displays around the room. Many HIO posters seem to have been watching that channel, too.

    For the next two weeks, that machine can ramp up into 6th gear, the dogs can hear the bells, the lips will start to snarl a little, the juices will flow between teeth and tongue for those who aren’t good enough hockey players to be playing in Europe and the last best bang in the vein will be doled out to the hockey hoi polloi. The Barchs, who, let’s face it, are being sacrificied by their richer, younger comrades.

    For the Fehr Brothers, the donwside of working a crowd this way is that they will eventually become numb, no matter how mindless or easily entertained they are, as the emotional nerves suffer burn-in and the shared hate just doesn’t deliver that same rush, the rush of group defiance that shows up at any good protest or union meeting or public orgy.

    Those with families will have it really, really hit home by Xmas, and sooner, since a majority won’t be doing the same kind of shopping, or entertaining, that they might normally do during December. The two weeks’ break of hating on Bettman, a steady stream of idiotic tweets, and suddenly reality will begin to cast its ugly rays into the dark void between the collective ears of the NHLPA.

    That’s the only possible way it could ever go down, since Bettman won’t cave, and since Fehr won’t cave and right now won’t stop advancing pyrrhic notions about the NHL’s lack of will to make a deal. Neither side’s job is to care about the fans, so let’s please put that to bed.

    Let me give you the bottom line for the owners: The last thing left is to break, with all possible haste, what will eventually be broken. The PA’s entitlement, which they have come by honestly, has grown unmanageable again. It’s all those rich second contracts handed to children. No, it’s all those front-loaded deals. No, it’s that idiot in Columbus who gave Umberger the moon. That other idiot who played for Kaberle. It’s Scott Gomez. No, it’s the downturn in the economy. Or the Canadian dollar. Nope, it’s…. hey Gary, can you just tell those guys to sign this thing so we can get back to making money? What, they won’t? Well, let ’em wait it out. Call ’em back in two weeks and we’ll see what the mood is….

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      So you expect after 2 weeks that the fringe players like Darche, Perros and Hainsey will start to feel differently? I think the players are tighter than you think. If you didn’t catch my point, those players, guys like Campoli too, are the ones who are most involved with the negotiations. I’m fairly certain that they feel as strongly about what they’re doing as Crosby and Barch

  6. jedimyrmidon says:

    Question: Is 17-20min a game a lot of time for a top line to play in the OHL? Including PP time? I always thought that top players in junior got a lot more icetime than in the pros, but 20min doesn’t seem like “a lot”.

    (This is about the amount of time that Galchenyuk gets per game.)

  7. tippytoes says:

    Can we do away with this fantasy hockey…This is pathetic. I mean really pathetic

  8. Habilis says:

    So which owner is pulling the strings on this “2 week moratorium” farce? My money is on Jeremey Vader, er I mean Jeremy Jacobs.

    He probably force choked Bettman into it.

    Don’t get me wrong here, I think Bettman is a smarmy, rat-like scavenger, but I don’t think he’s evil enough to come up with this plan. Jacobs on the other hand would sell his own mother if he thought it would give him an advantage in a negotiation.

    • Timo says:

      I don’t think you need much force to choke Bettman. Typically it takes between 10-15 second to choke a person out (depending on level of substances they’ve digested) but Bettman… I give him about 2-3 seconds before he’s out. 🙂

  9. Haborama says:

    LE QUESTION DE GALCHENYUK: when was the last time we had a prospect this good??

      • Chuck says:

        I’m not sure if even PK has the potential upside of Gally. Ill sure be great to find out, though!

        Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • Chris says:

      Doug Wickenheiser or Guy Lafleur. And Wickenheiser was drafted as a 19 year old, so Galchenyuk is even more impressive given that this would have been his draft year in those days. Guy Lafleur was almost 20 years old when he was drafted in 1971.

      Galchenyuk, were he not injured, would have been in the running for 1st overall. Even after missing a year, he still was picked 3rd overall.

      Price was a solid goaltender, but he never dominated in junior hockey to the same extent that Galchenyuk is doing this season. The year after he was drafted, Price was 19th in the WHL in goals against average and 18th in save percentage. He had a pretty lacklustre year, which cost him his berth on the Canadian World Junior team. Price’s magical season came two years after he was drafted.

      Subban wasn’t even close to the prospect that Galchenyuk is. He was a very good junior player with a lot of gaps in his game. Galchenyuk is solid in most aspects of the game already, and he’s got a world of offensive talent.

      We haven’t had anybody with the combination of size, speed, talent and polish in decades. Galchenyuk has got it all.

  10. L Elle says:

    I don’t know where it’s going, but I sure know where it’s been
    Hanging on the promises in the deals of yesterday
    And I’ve made up my mind
    I ain’t wasting no more time
    Here they go again, here they go again

    Though I keep searching for a season
    I never seem to find what I’m looking for
    Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to Carey on
    ‘Cause I know what it means
    To walk along the lonely nights of streams

    Here they go again on their own
    Going down the lockout road they have always known
    Like a lawyer he was born to walk alone
    And I’ve made up my mind
    I ain’t wasting no more time

    I’m just another fan in need of rescue
    Waiting on Fehr’s sweet charity
    And I’m gonna hold on for the rest of my days
    ‘Cause I know what it means
    To walk alone on lonely nights of streams

    Here they go again on their own
    Going down the lockout road they have always known
    Like a lawyer he was born to walk alone
    And I’ve made up my mind
    I ain’t wasting no more time

    But here I go again, here I go again
    Here I go again, here I go

    ‘Cause I know what it means
    To walk alone on lonely nights of streams

    Here they go again on their own
    Going down the lockout road they have always known
    Like a lawyer, Bettman was born to be alone
    And I’ve made up my mind
    I ain’t wasting no more time


  11. Chuck says:

    Does anyone remember using the old BASIC program that used to be on home computers? Maybe the NHL could take a hint from it when they finally get around to structuring a new CBA:

    10 PRINT “New NHL/NHLPA CBA ready to commence.”
    20 INPUT “Do you wish to commence new NHL/NHLPA CBA… Yes or No?”, A$
    30 IF A$ = “Yes” THEN GOTO 100
    40 IF A$ = “No” THEN GOTO 50
    50 INPUT “Are you the owner of a sunbelt team… Yes or No?”, A$
    60 IF A$ = “Yes” THEN GOTO 70
    70 PRINT “Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of our new pamphlet, ‘Things You Should Be Doing Other Than Owning A Hockey Team If You Can’t Sell The Benefits Of An Air-Conditioned Building In A Sub-Tropical Or Desert Climate’.”, GOTO 150
    80 IF A$ = “No” THEN GOTO 90
    90 PRINT “Are you aware that NHL revenues expanded almost 300% over the duration of the last CBA?”, GOTO 20
    100 PRINT “Congratulations! Continue to make gobs of money.”, GOTO 110
    110 INPUT “Upon expiration of current CBA, do you wish to automatically renew CBA under current term, conditions, and duration… Yes or No?”, A$
    120 IF A$ = “Yes” THEN GOTO 140
    130 IF A$ = “No” THEN GOTO 110
    140 PRINT “Have a great day, Mr. Molson!”
    150 END

    I think that I’m going to put this on a t-shirt.

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  12. Cape Breton says:

    The NHL bosses own the ball & they’re telling the players to do it our way or we take the ball & go home. Perhaps Mark Recchi has a point.

  13. Kooch7800 says:

    After hearing Buttman requested a 2 week hiatus on meeting I could really care less about the NHL right now. These people are bumbling idiots. Millions are being pissed away cause of ego’s.

    I really hope the NHL doesn’t grow at all for the next 5 years.

    I will go to more bulldog games and watch more junior hockey. It isn’t NHL but it is still hockey and it is entertainment after a long day at work.

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      You are lucky you have those alternatives close by. I wonder what the NHL will look like in a few years if they lose yet another season?


      • Mattyleg says:

        Tell me about it.
        I live in Montreal, and the nearest thing I can get is the Armada of Boisbriand, which is 45mins away.
        Driving = no drinks at the game = me no go.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Kooch7800 says:

        sorry brother….southern Ontario within an hour drive I can see…OHL- Kitchener Rangers, Brampton Battalion, London Knights, Geulph Storm – AHL – Hamilton Bulldogs, Toronto (who would actually watch them).

        So yes, we are spoiled here for hockey. I feel for you. You will have to come up for another dogs game.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Hoegaarden says:

          Ottawa is not a bad spot for plenty of hockey with the 67s here and the Gatineau Olympiques across the river. The game vs Halifax last week was a SRO sellout with close to 4,000 fans attending.

  14. Chuck says:

    So the word from the NHL is that if a deal isn’t done withn a week, another large chunk of the season will be cancelled. Now Bettman declares a 2-week moratorium on negotiations, claiming that the have nothing new to offer.

    They must be using a different public relations company now.

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  15. Mavid says:

    Good point HabFan…but my grandbaby is going to be a Habs fan…so I must stick around to ensure that happens..thanks for the support…

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Article by Damien Cox regarding how a missed season may help the Leafs. Interesting to note that he claims there are 2 primary teams which are not happy with the lockout, one of them being our Habs and Geoff Molson.–maple-leafs-might-be-better-off-without-a-season-cox

    • Blondie says:

      Props to Montreal and Vancouver, I always knew Geoff Molson was a hockey fan.

      Hard to believe that these are the only two teams unhappy with the current situation though.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I honestly believe that the Montreal players know Geoff Molson is not enamoured with current negotiations. It is for that reason that I am even more frustrated with them/NHLPA for trying to utilize the Quebec Labour Law against the Habs. I realize this is big business, but you would think the players might recognize that Molson is probably one of the few owners providing a voice of reason in Ownership meetings.

        • Blondie says:

          I don’t think it was anything personal, just an available strategy. And I think you’re right; the players know that Habs ownership is among the good guys.

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            “good guys”


            I wouldn’t classify him as a “good guy”

            How about “smart guy”. His team makes him lots of money. Why cancel games and stop the cash flow?

            Sure, the new CBA will be even more lucrative for the owners, but is it worth killing this season and all the revenue that goes with that?

            Not to mention, it is harder to sell the swill that is Molsons without the veil that is hockey!

            He is not a good guy… he just knows where the money is.

            Edit – He may be a good guy, though. I have never actually met him

          • Blondie says:

            The inference from the article is that he is not happy with the lockout and does *not* think it is worth killing the season and associated revenues. Hence, a “good guy”.

            I think he’s probably a smart guy too, and I agree that it’s easier to be a good guy when the existing set-up allows you to make loads of profit.

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            I figured your definition of good guy was solely based on his desire to have a season and the preception to the fans and players because of this. I appreciate that too.

            Also, I didn’t mean to just focus on your comment. I intitially was going to post about why it is no surprise he doesn’t want a cancelled season. Anyone who is surprised that Goeff Molson is not liking this situation does not understand business.

            I bet if you look at all the teams that made money last year (before playoffs), 80% of them are not liking the fact that they are not making more money this year. Why not list all of them instead of just listing two? (although, Vancouvers reason was interesting. I hadn’t thought about that… mainly because I don’t have to as a Habs fan… boo).

    • Ozmodiar says:

      “Maple Leafs might be better off without a season”
      – like every other year

      • Chuck says:


        Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  17. AliHaba says:

    Galchenyuk—13 points in his last 5 games. Just sayin’

  18. JF says:

    What is the point of this “moratorium” Bettman wants? Is it just another tactic to frustrate the players and raise their anxiety level (by the time the two weeks are over, they will have missed four paycheques)? Or is it another way of telling the PA that the league isn’t budging until they come up with a serious proposal or show themselves willing to negotiate off the league’s last offer? Does the moratorium mean we are heading into a deep freeze or will it actually get things going?

    • Cal says:

      It’s Bettman’s way of telling Fehr to stop moving the goalposts. The players will have to put pressure on Fehr to move or this season is toast. Any way we slice it, it isn’t a good thing for us, the forgotten fans.

    • Dust says:

      I think it’s an attemt to get the players to start negotiating off of the nhls offer. The owners are basically saying, negotiate off our offer or miss two more paychecks then let us know if you are ready to give a serious proposal. If the nhlpa does nothing and doesn’t start to negotiate after the two week hiatus. Bye bye hockey. Thats what i think at least

    • Blondie says:

      It does sound like a pressure tactic, but I don’t really see how ignoring each other for two weeks is going to result in progress.

      Then again, in the longest face-to-face meetings thus far they got nowhere and may even be more entrenched than before.

      Bettman and Fehr have to go. I don’t see them agreeing on anything – ever.

  19. 24 Cups says:

    Shoutout to Cal – your song parodies are the one beacon of light as this endless CBA war heads into the darkness of winter.

    Any chance you could do an Elvis song? Maybe Suspicious Minds?

    • Cal says:

      Consider it done, 24. 🙂

      • Chuck says:

        I cant wait for the official album release!
        Of course, by the time the lockout is over, it might have blossomed into a boxed set.

        Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There isn’t a genre of music Cal is afraid of tackling 24, nice request.

      Have a good day Steve.

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        I am pretty sure he couldn’t tackle Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

        It seems I am in a cheeky mood today. Probably because it is Friday and I just stocked my fridge with all kinds of different and delicious beers!

  20. Haborama says:


    I wonder what it would take to pry Tom Wilson away from the Caps, I really like him in the super-series so far, they guy is a MAC truck, with a scouring touch (14 pts in 11 games, on pace for 73 in 58 games, translated as 86 pts if he played a full season) players like him only come around once every five years or so…………….

  21. Ian Cobb says:

    Just on to say good morning! to all die hard HIO members.

    I am repeating myself with this post. But the owners are not in this fight, just to make a noise, no matter who gets to lose their jobs or small affiliated businesses.
    This is going to be a very long fight, to end all future work stoppages, instabilities and crazy contracts.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ian, good morning sir. Would love to agree that this will be the last one, but unless both sides feel the pain afterwards (lower fan attendance, tv ratings down), they will both continue to treat the fans like cattle and use these lockouts/strikes to further their agendas.

      I unfortunately will be one of the many heads of cattle who does turn on the TV and watch. Perhaps i am part of the problem…. oh crap now I am blaming myself for this garbage… Okay gonna try like basketball again.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        True Gerald. We have to get together at a Bulldog game this winter!
        I am into the CFL playoffs right now, and busy taking care of my gal.
        Catch up to you later.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I will be pulling hard for the Als this weekend Ian, unfortunately, I fear that not only are they playing the Argos but the league itself. I have a strong feeling the league wants Toronto in its big anniversary Grey Cup.

          I am fearful that David Braley gets both his teams in the Grey Cup final. I can just imagine him receiving the Grey Cup and having to pick which hat to wear, or perhaps he will have a hat made with both logos on it.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ian. Hope your woman is on the mend. CHeers.


    • Cal says:

      Great to see you post, Ian! It is very disheartening, isn’t it?

    • Blondie says:

      Good morning Ian. I agree it will be long and hard fought, but the “war to end all wars”? That will be about as successful as the real one.

      If they ever come to an agreement they will go back to their old ways when it expires and we will go through this again, and again, and again.

      Because they are greedy and stupid and I don’t think *that* can be fixed.

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    Who would you rather have as your League Comissioner, Buttman or that Used Car Saleman with the good hair, Bud Selig.

    What is it with leagues hiring such unlikable characters to represent themselves, or perhaps it is a good representation of the various owners….

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Maybe they hire people they can control? It does seem a bit funny how many rich people are really stupid. Not Donald Trump stupid, but stupid just the same. Morning Gerald.


    • Ian Cobb says:

      Gerald, Bettman has the full support of all 30 owners. I do not like him , but he is only the messenger my friend.

      • commandant says:

        I don’t know that he has the full support of all 30 owners.

        He certainly has a majority, but I don’t believe he has all 30.

        The NHL will never tell you how many owners don’t support the lockout, but there are plenty of media including Elliotte Freidman who believe the room is somewhat divided.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  23. Habfan10912 says:

    A two week break? You’ve got to be kidding me!


    • HabinBurlington says:

      A good old fashioned school yard staring competition has now begun. I heard that Bettman can’t look in the mirror for weeks on end and never blink. Little does Gary know that Fehr had his eyelids surgically enhanced to prevent ever blinking.

      Morning Jim, Happy Friday.

      • Blondie says:

        Happy Friday indeed!

        I’m going over to my buddies place tonight for a couple nights of jamming and partying like we were kids again and forget about this crap for a while.

        Maybe that’s what Bettman and Fehr need to do. Negotiate in a tavern or seedy bar, get blind drunk, settle differences through games of pool, shuffleboard, and darts. They could have the deal done by Monday. 🙂

    • Cal says:

      In about a week or less, Bettman will cancel all December games. He may reiterate that the players will be paid in the pro-rated fashion when they return. For example, 50 of 82 games get played, 5/8.2 of the salary will be paid.

      Fehr will talk to the media and reiterate that this is all the owners’ doing. His hair will still need a comb.

      Both sides will look like idiots as usual, not able to compromise, kind of like North American politics. Fans will either be spewing out vitriol or will have already moved on.

      The NHL and PA are doing a great job promoting their ignorance of the fans.

  24. Cal says:

    After 2 full months of the lockout, a fan goes barmy and has to sing.

  25. Boomer says:

    Team Canada’s gonna be scary on paper at the WJC… If you think about it several top 10 Defensmen picks from the last 2 years may be CUT from the team… Goalies we’ll have Subban Brossoit or Fucale. Forwards we’ll have guys that put up 30-50 goals last year. It’ll be a great tournament 🙂

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    I hope Don and Gary can at least get away somewhere and enjoy their 2 week break. These guys have worked tirelessly for at least 7 of the last 20 days and deserve a break. Thankfully we have labour laws now to prevent such good people from being overworked.

  27. ProHabs says:

    Louis Leblanc is really banged up. High ankle sprain and now a shoulder injury. The guy is fragile.

    The blond girl in the video with Gionta really looks like she is enjoying his company.

  28. Haborama says:

    WOW, Gally’s really on a tear…..

  29. commandant says:

    Another 2 points and counting for Alex Galchenyuk. Tied in third period 3-3

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  30. commandant says:

    Hudon 1g 1a

    Archambault 1g 1a

    tonight too.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  31. commandant says:

    Vail scores his second of the night.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  32. AceMagnum says:

    Thank you HIO crew for keeping your loyal followers entertained with the current fantasy season and retrospective review of the ’93 season during this Hellish nightmare of the current NHL lockout. It is much appreciated.

    In closing, I would like to say that I vehemently hate all NHL players, and despise and loathe all NHL owners. I especially hate Bell, (they cut my mobile service today)…soon my internet will be gone. I cant’ afford it, I’m just a poor working joe, who’s no longer working. I will never feel an ounce of sympathy for anyone in this sport…although I hope Blake Geoffrion makes a full recovery.

    I do like all the members of the media…even the French guys. Keep it up.



  33. commandant says:

    Bettman suggests a two week moratorium on talks.


    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  34. Harditya says:

    Sarnia scores and Galchenyuk picks up an assist!

  35. Mavid says:

    I really think I will go insane if there is no hockey..the question is who will I take with me…

    • HabFab says:

      Sorry you can’t go yet. You have a future hockey or dancing star to spoil. You have to battle for their Hockey souls from those evil Sen fans in your family 🙂

  36. Say Ash says:

    Gomez with the game winner lol

    Fantasy, indeed.

  37. Haborama says:

    Hey Commandant, what do you think of Andrei Burakovsky, Nikita Zadorov, and Valeri Nichushkin????

    Should the Canadiens consider them, or is “the Russian factor” a big issue??

    • commandant says:

      Burakovsky is Swedish, I’ll need to see more of him at the WJC (if he plays) and U18s to really know where to slot him

      The “Russian Factor” is something you interview each prospect and figure out individually IMO. Also the new CBA is gonna be big here, depending how restrictive ELCs and arbitration rights are, it could make the Russian factor worse.

      That said, I always discount the “Russian Factor” somewhat when a player is playing in North America like Zadorov. I think he’s a mid to late first rounder.

      Nikushkin… his talent level is top 10 pick. I really like him in the super series. His interviews will go a long way though, cause I still say that talent alone and no Russian factor and Slepyshev (undrafted last year) would have been a 25-35 range guy.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  38. Bozo McBozo says:

    The NY Jets have provided all the humor that watching the Habs would have and more!

    • HabFab says:

      He lives and has power again. Between those and Obama back for 4 more, your world must be perfect.

    • Ron says:

      Have any effects from the storm or you go unscaved ?

      • Bozo McBozo says:

        Hey, I’m tickled my college classmate got re-elected. On the storm, we got hammered. I tried to channel my inner Lt. Dan that night. When I asked the Almighty “is that all you got,” he said “just wait Mr. Smartass!” Three trees landed direct hits on my house, about four others narrowly missed and half a dozen others got ripped out of the ground. The freakin’ place looks like the set for the Band of Brothers episode on Bastogne. Everyone is OK though and that is all that matters. Lesson learned. Don’t taunt the Big Guy, He controls the weather.

        • Ron says:

          Shit bud you sound like you got more than just hit. Did you have to relocate to temp quarters till repairs done ? Hope you were high enough ( elevation ) to not get flooded to. Good to hear no one suffered any physical damage. We watched the storm movement on the TV and I could see it would hit there too. Happy to see your bud got elected, sounds like enough people opened their eyes.

          • Bozo McBozo says:

            Had to go to a hotel in NYC for two days because we had no electricity. Have gas heat but no way to force the air through the ducts. No flooding, just damage from the high winds. I think we got caught in a mini cyclone, or what they now call a weather cell. I didn’t think Romney had a chance, but was very surprised that he lost all but one of the swing states. Most Americans knew Obama was dealt a pair of dueces by W and did the best he could. I am a Republican, but these guys lost the script long ago. (Ronnie was a god!) They don’t change and they will permanently become the “loyal opposition.” The demographics stink for them. They didn’t do squat with women, minorities or the young.

        • HabFab says:

          The Big Guy doesn’t have much of a sense of humor… does he?
          I’m sure the twins were able to get all that firewood cut and stacked by the time power was restored. Hear you can get a couple hundred for a cord of wood…whatever that is.

          • Bozo McBozo says:

            Sure he does. He didn’t stop Gainey from trading McDonough for Gomez!

          • HabFab says:

            He was punishing us for our unbelief. I really don’t see any humor in allowing that move.

          • Ron says:

            @Bozo, We could have used your economics handy work here the last couple weeks in relation to the many discussions on HRR and such. Has been fun. The Isles moved closer to you so you can take in afew Habs games when they hit there as well.

  39. Bozo McBozo says:

    Yanker, danker, doo!

  40. slamtherimtim says:

    it is only Winnipeg but if the habs can play like this all year , the cup is ours

    so who’s leading the team in points now ,

  41. commandant says:

    Brady Vail with a goal early for Windsor.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  42. Ozmodiar says:

    “Suffering from Canadiens withdrawal?”
    – no

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